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Monday, March 26, 2012

3) Ubud: Breakfast with the monkeys,Sukawati Markets, Sari Organic and a "black bottom tart".

How easily I slip into Bali mode.
 Bali is not just another country, it is another place within my own little world, a part of my life
 .... a really good part of my my life.

I wakeup early, it's dark and my first thought is fireflies! Wrapping a sarong around my shoulders I open the veranda door quietly sneaking out. 
Scary monkey thoughts went through my head. Well Lisa did tell about a dream involving monkeys and vampires, so my imagination had a bit to work with!
No scary monkeys thank God, but also no fireflies.

I grab my pillow and a blanket then head into the bathroom for my morning ritual....

 I started yoga as a last ditch attempt to help with neck and back pain, I am now a yoga freak. Like a born again Christian I preach to everyone I know about the benefits of yoga. If you know me you know how excited I get about things and how I love to spread the joy. Lisa didn't say "enough already" once, bless her little heart, she just kept on saying "no... I don't think it's for me"

My morning yoga set up, nice big bathroom!

Our outlook

From the veranda we could see what was going on, still no monkeys.

Then as we are walking to breakfast Lisa says "look!!" so I look up to where she is pointing. Those people eating their breakfast have no idea about what's on the roof.

 I walk up to breakfast expecting to be totally freaked out. I realise a monkey isn't going to try and rip my face off or anything. It's the thought of six big needles if I get scratched that worries me! 

This monkey is casing the joint out!

Over the next few days I can't help but be entertained by and fall in love with these adorable cheeky monkeys.

The breakfast restaurant has a lovely lush out look

Yum yum yum

 Very simple buffet
 the monkey on top of the wall thinks it all looks pretty good

Not the place to stay if you don't like animals. These tiny little kittens were welcome dinner guests with us every breakfast. I like hotels with cats....
.... because cats eat rats:)

 Click on this to enlarge the photo, every morning the monkeys would pull the hose out of the pool and wave it in the air. Pausing to have a drink now and then. They constantly look around to see who's coming to go mad on them.
 I swear they just did it to annoy the pool guys!

 Most guests were like kids and loved being the table chosen to share with the monkeys, tables near the railings go quick.

This big monkey is behind Joanne's chair and he has her toast. Which was pretty funny.
You see the toaster takes about 4 mins for one slice and when he jumped up and grabbed it off her plate all Joanne said was "no not the toast! anything but the toast"

Mum and Joe had worked out a little system, they said you can sit near the railing if you have monkey offerings. When they saw a monkey coming they would put a small bananna etc. on the railing the monkey would grab it and leave them alone, unless he wants your toast of course :)

So in the end breakfast with the monkeys was a fantastic experience that I highly recommend. 
The monkeys aren't after you like they are at the monkey forest, they don't try and look in your bag or pockets, they just want wants on your plate.

As long as you don't yell or hiss at them like we saw a few silly tourist do, the monkeys are really cute!
 The staff are constantly doing this balancing act. keeping the guests happy by letting the monkeys stay (to a certain extent) while keeping things under control. 

For all I say the monkeys are cute, they are also very very naughty, even taking roof tiles off to get under the roof and throwing them on the ground, so you have to keep an eye out all the time.

Deane you out there? This is you at breakfast I have heaps more photos if you let me know I can email you high resolution copies

I want that croissant!!!!

When things get too hectic the staff walk around with sling shots full of tissue wads or tiny pebbles. 
This little guy below was just watching all the action and every time a staff member aimed her sling shot at him he just gave a big yawn. It's almost like they know each staff member and can tell who is a good shot and who isn't.

 Enough of the monkeys for now.

We decided to go to Sukawati markets today and agreed with a driver out the front of the hotel RP200,000 for half a day.
 I wanted to check out a couple of hotels. So we told the driver we would just go and look at this hotel across the road before we jumped in his car, okay he says.

This little hotle is directly opposite Champlung sari, Lisa and I tried to get in this trip but the air con rooms were booked up for our dates. It turns out that we got Champlung Sari for about the same price through webJet, but I still wanted to look. Nice little place with very well kept grounds, I'd stay here but it would not be first choice.
Rooms RP 450,000-550,000 neg.


View from the rooms at the back

We walk back out the front of the hotel and a different driver approaches us..." no your not the guy we spoke to"  "oh he had to go, but he told me to take you, okay" So funny... mum just kept on saying, how  that's the quickest a driver has ever switched on us!

Of course Agung Putra ended up being lovely and our driver for Ubud.

Next up was Sri Bungalows.
There had been a lot of talk about this place on the forum so I wanted to check out the family room. Hmm this one is hard, as the room  itself was lovely, the views are vast and really interesting, a combination of rice fields and buildings.
It is a long walk from the pool or reception to the family room.

 I didn't like the pool it looked old and boring, and I love hanging out around the pool so it was a negative for me straight away. 

Mum, Lisa and Joanne said they wouldn't stay here.
 I wouldn't discount it, but we were quoted $240 USD a night and there is no way in the world would I pay that for these rooms, but they did say it was negotiable.

I guess I'm comparing it to the Gardenia suite at Alam Indah. Even though the room here is newer and fresher Alam Indah wins hands down for me.

Walking through the grounds

Family room number 30
View from upstairs room, looking back towards the swimming pool.


View from the back of the room, I really  loved this view.

Sukawati Markets

Why? because we can .

It's hot and cramped,  but oh so much fun:)

First the smaller market.

It's pretty funny shopping here, you can see minds ticking as you approach, they have no idea how much they should try for.
The first thing that catches my eye is a colourful display of beaded bangles, piled high like a bunch of candy.
I walk over to the stall and the two young girls working there look at us nervously, like they are just about to get a big fish on the hook.
 I ask them how much and the youngest stares at at me and giggles, lost for words.
The two girls look at each other just like we do. 
Their body language is saying "how much should I say, what can I get away with?" whereas ours is saying "how much should I pay, I don't want to look like an idiot"

The pretty little beaded bangles starting price is RP 80,000 each with nervous giggles from the sales girls. From my side, no way RP 500 each, I end up paying RP 20,000 for 20 still to high. I think RP 500 each was more than enough but that took a while and I wanted to move on.

I've been here before and although I had fun, I'd be happy not to come back again. Pretty much the same products as Ubud markets, the starting price for things was still 'silly price' plus it seemed just as hard to get prices down. 

...endless corridors of the same thing over and over again. 

The bigger markets up the road

same again

Lisa was stalked by this guy selling sunglasses, we nicknamed him 'Mr bling bling' as he kept on pointing to the bejewelled sides saying "look bling bling" 
We ended up giving in and buying many pairs. He was just so damned persistent, Joanne got him down to rp 15,000 a pair.
 Mr bling bling and his friends had a lot of fun surrounding Lisa with their wares. 

It's hot today and we are exhausted from saying " No just looking".. a thousand times within a couple of  hours.

 Last trip I had done a three hour rice field walk  and near the end we passed by Sari Organic I really wanted to go there for lunch but I couldn't remember how it was form the road.We were all tired and didn't like the idea of a huge hike so we asked Agung "maybe 200 meters" he says "it's not far".. sounds good.

Agung dropps us off and says goodbye for the day, we start up the cement path and come across a sign that says "Sari Organic 800 meters" ha ha of course it is we decide we'll live. I assure everyone it's an easy flat walk, well that's how I remembered it.

We hadn't got more than 20 feet along when a bike pulls up and the driver asks " anyone want a lift, are you going to Sari Organic?"
We all look at each other, Joe runs from the back of the line "I will!" she jumps on and is gone in a flash. Good for her, I wasn't going to get on.

Joanne taking off along the path

The walk starts off pleasant enough
 I'm looking forward to the views and wonderful food

Mum, Lisa and I keep on walking and walking. Having to stop for bikes every few seconds and lugging our shopping with us makes the walk long and tedious.
 Hmm I didn't remember it having such an incline


We walk and the wind picks up, within about two hundred meters we are nearly been blown over and there are no buildings in site. 

I'm starting to feel pretty bad about how long it's taking, we wonder where Joanne has disappeared too? Thoughts and words alternate between laughing at the stupidity of the wind and the fact that although we can see for what seems like miles, we cannot see the restaurant! 

With shades of envy we imagine Joanne, she is probably sitting with her feet up and a nice cold drink!

 I honestly thought it was closer to the road. 

We pass this disaster, you have to feel sorry for whoever had a dream about a restaurant with no walls. That's the roof blowing in our private little cyclone!

We struggle against the wind and we walk.
With prompts from my fellow travellers I ask a tourist passing the opposite way " excuse me, do you know how far to Sari Organic?" he replies "hmm..maybe 20 minutes?"  

Oh I do not want to pass on that information, I shall be shunned for the rest of the trip!

Well we finally make it and yes there is Joanne sitting front and centre at the table with the best view, icy cold drink in hand.
Turns out the guy on the bike was the owner and he bought her a drink!

The view from sari organic

We get the menus and order drinks when Bam! the wind slams against the building we give a nervous laugh.  Whoosh and Bam, throughout the restaurant there is laughter along side noises of surprise. Chairs tip over and a big ceramic bowl is blown off a table, smashing onto the floor. Drinks tip over, the chaos is greeted by  staff who know how to go about their jobs:)

Bam, whoosh, bam and we decide the view is not worth the fright of not knowing when we'll be slammed by something other than wind.
We move further back into the restaurant, it is better but we still have to tie our hair up, hold onto our drinks and yell over the wind. Lisa scores a few onion rings in her hair from a dinner plate not on our table!

The experience was memorable that's for sure.

Going with my try something different trip I order...

'Romantic Chicken ' soo pretty and delicious! I feel happy just looking at it.

Banana smoothie with nuts, it tasted very healthy and that's all I'm saying

Mum loved her Saytay and said it was one of the best ever

I'm not sure what Joe had, she ate it but she didn't really like it

Lisas spinach quiche was a little strange. A tart base with spinach and cheese loosely sitting in it, not sure why it was called a quiche?

Would I come here again, absolutely!
 If it hadn't been for the wind and our shopping bags I'm sure the walk would be pleasant, as long as your expecting and allowing for it. I didn't time it but I'd guess 30mins at a relaxed pace?

I figured we could walk back at our leisure and enjoy the views.
The walk back was with the wind, there were hardly any bikes and the incline was down hill, it seemed so much quicker.

There was a reason it was so much quicker....

We walked out of Sari Organic at the same time as a large tour group, somehow mum ended up leading them, way out front with her floppy white hat. Lisa and I were stuck at the back and we couldn't stop laughing, at times I could hardly walk.
 Here is mum almost power walking with this long line of people  following behind like she is the tour guide!

See mum way out front with her white hat.

 Lisa is getting burnt so she wraps herself in one of the butterfly sarongs we bought at the markets

Back to the hotel for a well earned swim.
The hotel really is nice with plenty of space around the pools.

I was so excited for dinner that night we were going to Kafe Batan Waru, all I wanted was a 'black bottom tart' the dessert of my dreams. I have it every time I'm in Ubud, my mouth is watering now!

First up lets try something new Wedang Jahe; a hot brew with clove, nutmeg,ginger and palm sugar.

 I sipped it for a while, but there is no way I could drink.
Next; Tum Ayun; Chicken and I think papaya, in banana leaves

Mum ordered this as well, I found it really tasty but very strong in flavour.
 Mum couldn't handle the texture, she sent it back and ordered calamari instead
Lisa and Joe took one look at it and wouldn't even try it...LOL

Mum was happy to pay for the two meals as the restaurant was in no way at fault, but we were surprised that no one came and asked her why she had sent the dish back.

Drum roll.......................

Yum Yum Yum, Black Bottom tart, it is so lush and rich that I am almost gagging by the end of it. Still I refuse to share or leave anything on the plate!!!


Andrew Bennett said...

Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. A great addition to your wonderful blog.

Deborah Mattson said...

Thanks Andrew :)

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